[ExI] Is there a potential libertarianism / democracy tension?

Amon Zero amon at doctrinezero.com
Mon Sep 26 11:29:07 UTC 2011

On 26 September 2011 11:10, Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm not sure I understand what your asking entirely... but I've done
> my best to reply to what I think you're asking. If I didn't hit the
> nail on the head, please ask again.

Hi Kelly - Thanks for your response -

You said that across-the-board privatization does not amount to a radical
restructuring of the political-economic system. I would disagree, but I
suppose that boils down to opinion and semantics. Following that, at the end
of your post you pointed out it wasn't clear what my question was. Fair
enough - I think these two points are related.

For my part, I believe that the full libertarian project is an extremely
radical one. This is not to comment on whether I agree with it or not, but
let's just say that I didn't realise how radical it is (or how common a
radical version of it is) until perhaps a week ago. This led me to wonder
if, having succeeded in putting the plan into action, most libertarians
would be happy to meekly back-track if asked to do so by the general
population (for whatever reason, lack of understanding the libertarian
argument, or whatever).

Now, I know that answer in the real world would obviously be that some
libertarians would be more respectful of majority decision and opposing
opinions (i.e. democracy) than would others. The same is true for every
belief system. What I wondered was whether we have any reason to imagine
that libertarians might broadly tend toward disrespecting a democratic
decision to repeal libertarian decisions.

You yourself seem to have given a clear "no", that for you a libertarian
government would be as democratic as any other, its decisions as subject to
repeal as any other. Would I be right in saying that? I should also mention,
though, that you hint at a lack of education on the part of the voters. I
wonder if you imagine if they'd embrace libertarian reforms after a bit of
appropriate education, and the likelihood of repeal would therefore be slim?

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